Pastor Felipe's funeral took place at Victory Outreach Chino and reception took place in Uptown at Victory Outreach Whittier. Friends and family came from all over the place to honor the man that had touched so many through the gospel for close to over forty years. The funeral was officiated by former Mexican Mafia hit man turned Christian Evangelist Art Blajos who was also Felipe's Homeboy from the same neighborhood in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, California when Candelas and Blajos were growing up in the streets.
Many in the entertainment world that had supported Felipe in the prisons, youth jails, community outreaches, and fundraisers came to pay tribute at the Whittier, CA reception. Legendary singers like Little Willie G from the Midnighters, members of Sly, Slick, and Wicked, Norman Carter from the Delfonics, Sal Rodriguez from War the Band, comedian Gilbert Esquivel, Robert MC Blvd, Battle Ax from The S.O.G. Crew (Thump Records/ Universal Music Group) and many others came to celebrate the life of Felipe Candelas with the family.
"Chaplain Felipe was my role model, my mentor in the youth jails of Los Angeles, and was like a Father to me. It was hard to say goodbye when I went to visit him in the hospital on Easter a few days before he went home to be with the Lord. It was over fifteen years ago that Chaplain Felipe invited The S.O.G. Crew to Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall to encourage kids. I never left his sight ever since because he treated me like his little brother in the jails, in the darkest neighborhoods, around politicians, around his Victory Outreach brotherhood, and around the biggest in the entertainment world. I feel like crying just sharing this. I have made a vow to the Lord that I will continue to support his wife Virginia, his children, and his grandchildren for the rest of my life. Chaplain Felipe was a friend that never gave up on me. Friends like that are truly hard to find," expressed Dr. Robert Ornelas former Vice Presidential Candidate.
Pastor Felipe E. Candelas, 71, took his first breath in Heaven as his wife was bedside of him in Whittier, California. Professionally he was retired from working in south central with high-risk probation youth, but passionately he never stopped his service in helping out others.
He met the love of his life Virginia in the early 70’s, and a few years later they both made a decision that would change their lives forever, they gave their lives to the Lord. Shortly after they married and began to run the race that God had set out for them. Felipe was a faithful member of Victory Outreach since his first days of being in the St. Louis Victory Home. He graduated from both the Victory Home with Rudy Hernandez as his director and later graduated V.O. School of ministry. He continued his education at Cypress college and went on to receive numerous certificates from Counseling courses for Drug and Alcohol, Parenting, Domestic Violence, and anger management. Immediately put to use his knowledge while working with high-risk youth through different programs such as V.O.I.C.E.S., L.A. County Probation Camp Release Programs, and those incarcerated in various juvenile camps. He and his soulmate were well known for putting on outreach events connecting with car clubs and a variety of entertainers to bring forth the gospel. Last year he was acknowledged by the leadership of V.O.I. at the World Conference for his 20 years of being a licensed minister of the Prison Ministry.
Survivors include Felipe’s wife Virginia, mother, Lily Candelas, father Philip Candelas, son, Rudy Candelas, daughter, Desiree Candelas, daughter, Tisha Candelas, daughter, Christina Orozco, daughter, Faith Candelas Rodarte, daughter, Lorraine Lopez, 14 grandchildren, and two nieces. He is preceded in passing by his only sister, Lorraine Olivia Candelas.